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August 2003 Announcements

Please click on the topic below to view the most recent announcements:

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Holiday Hours Announcement (8/29/03)

The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Monday, September 1, 2003 in observance of Labor Day. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Tuesday, September 2, 2003 at 8:00 a.m. EST.

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Additional Guidance for Submitting FY2003 Form 486 and Form 479 (8/28/03)

The SLD has posted additional guidance for applicants filing Form 486 and Form 479 for Funding Year 2003. While this guidance is directed specifically to libraries, all applicants should note the following:

1. Minimum Processing Standards for Form 486 require the use of the August 2003 version of Form 486 for FY2003.

  • ALL APPLICANTS: If your paper Form 486 or paper Form 486 certification page was completed and submitted but not successfully data entered in the SLD system on or before August 18, 2003, the SLD will reach out to you with a procedure for submitting the revised form. Applicants are encouraged to submit the August 2003 version of the form; the SLD will not reach out to applicants for earlier versions of Form 486 postmarked after December 31, 2003.
  • SCHOOLS, SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CONSORTIA CONTAINING ONLY SCHOOLS: If your paper Form 486 or paper Form 486 certification was successfully data entered before August 18, you do not need to submit a revised Form 486.
  • LIBRARIES AND CONSORTIA CONTAINING LIBRARIES: Please refer to the CIPA Guidance for Libraries for FY2003.

2. The online Form 486 will not be available until late September 2003. If you plan to file a Form 486 before the online version is available, you must file a paper form. The paper Form 486 and Instructions are available on the Applicant Forms page of this web site.

For more information, please refer to CIPA Guidance for Libraries for FY2003 posted in the Reference Area of this web site.

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FY2003 Internal Connections Funded at 85% (8/26/03)

Yesterday the SLD issued letters for Wave 10 of Funding Year 2003. In past waves for FY2003, funding commitments have been made on approved Internal Connections requests only at the 90% discount level. Beginning with Wave 10, letters will include funding commitments for approved Internal Connections requests at 85% and above.

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Revised Forms 486 and 479 Available; Effective Date for Second CIPA Order Established (8/20/03)

On August 19, 2003, the FCC released Public Notice DA 03-2690 [PDF format; 104kb]. In this notice, the FCC announced that the revised Form 486 and Form 479 were approved by the Office of Management and Budget on August 14, 2003. Accordingly, the effective date of the Second CIPA Order [PDF format; 724kb] is August 14, 2003.

The revised forms and instructions are available on the Forms Page of this web site.

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SLD to Release Revised CIPA Guidance (8/18/03)

The FCC order (FCC 03-188) concerning library compliance with the filtering provision of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) became effective August 14, 2003 upon the approval by OMB of the revised Form 486 and Form 479. These revised forms are slightly different from the draft forms attached to the FCC order. You can access the revised Forms and Instructions from the Forms Page of this web site.

The SLD will provide revised guidance on this web site in the next few days for libraries and consortia containing libraries. Libraries who have applied for discounts on Internet Access and/or Internal Connections for Funding Year 2003 may have additional steps to follow before the SLD can provide discounts for these FY 2003 commitments. (The requirements of CIPA do not apply to Telecommunications Services.)

Under CIPA, schools and libraries receiving discounts on Internet Access and/or Internal Connections must have an Internet safety policy that includes a technology protection measure to protect against certain visual depictions. Libraries may be undertaking actions to include the technology protection measure in FY2003, but they must be in compliance with all of the requirements of CIPA by the start of FY2004.

Following are the significant changes that will be covered in the SLD’s guidance:

  1. Libraries and consortia containing libraries that have already filed Form 486 or Form 479 for FY2003 must refile using the August 2003 version of the appropriate form. Certain deadlines apply to the refiling of these forms.
  2. Libraries who know they will not be undertaking actions to comply with CIPA by the start of FY2004 may still receive FY2003 discounts on Internet Access and Internal Connections for services received before the effective date of the FCC Order.
  3. The online Form 486 is unavailable for a short time in order to update the online system.

For more information on the requirements of CIPA, please refer to the CIPA Frequently Asked Questions in the Reference Area of this web site.

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SPACs Not Required for BEARs for Funding Years Before FY2003 (8/12/03)

On January 29, 2003, the SLD announced that, effective February 28, 2003, invoices (both BEAR Forms 472 and SPI Forms 474) would not be paid unless the SLD had a Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification Form (SPAC) on file for the appropriate funding year. While BEARs may have been processed without regard to the presence of a SPAC from the service provider, that practice would be discontinued.

A number of service providers have raised reasonable objections to the requirement for filing a SPAC for previous funding years in order for the SLD to process a BEAR Form submitted by an applicant. Consequently, the SLD will no longer require that a SPAC be on file in order to process a BEAR Form featuring FRNs for funding years prior to Funding Year 2003. SPACs are required in order to process BEAR Forms for Funding Years 2003 and later. Also, the requirement that a SPAC be on file in order to process a SPI Form has not changed.

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Appeal Deadline Changed to Postmark (8/5/03)

On July 21, 2003, the deadline for appeals to the SLD and the FCC changed. Appeals must now be POSTMARKED, not received, no later than 60 days after the date of an SLD decision.

Letters containing language on appeals have been updated to reflect this change; please refer to the sample Funding Commitment Decision Letter and the sample Form 486 Notification Letter. In addition, the Reference Area document Appeals Procedure has been revised to provide further guidance on submitting appeals to the SLD and the FCC.

Content Last Modified: August 29, 2003